PEF Grants and Other Services

Duke Energy Grant

DUKE Energy awarded $51,395 to 14 schools! Since 2006 Duke Energy has invested over $595,000 in Polk’s teachers and students.

Polk Education Foundation (PEF) received $50,000 in funding from Duke Energy for school grants to enhance science initiatives on Energy, Environment, or Engineering topics for the 2019-2020 school year.  Each school awarded received funding up to $3,000. Thank you Jerry Miller and DUKE Energy!

2019-2020 Press Release – DUKE Energy

Schools in DUKE Service Area

Duke Energy Logo

School Matching Funds Grant

Polk Education Foundation awarded over $29,000 in School Matching Grants to 7 schools!

2019-2020 School Matching Grant funding received through the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations as part of the School District Education Foundation Matching Grant Program, is open to all public and charter schools in Polk County and requires schools to solicit and acquire new funds from a private or community donor with the promise of a dollar for dollar match up to $3,000 per school. What a great way to connect and engage community members with local schools.

Press Release


CFEF logo Matching Grant logo

STEAMing Up Polk Schools! Grant

Polk Education Foundation awarded $25,000 in School Matching Grants to 8 schools!


STEAMing Up Polk Schools! funded through the Consortium of Florida Education Foundation, awarded over $25,000 for STEaM education grants. Grant funds must be used to increase student achievement in STEaM content areas, improve/increase availability and inventory of resources to enhance instruction in STEaM education, and/or fund professional development in alignment with STEaM education initiatives.


CFEF logo

AT&T STEM at Work Grant

2019-2020 AT&T STEM at Work Grant funded two $2,000 STEM (Science-Technology – Engineering- Math) grants through the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF). The intention of AT&T is to provide students with opportunities to better understand an area of STEM through workplace-based experiences and to increase their awareness and interest in STEM careers.

 Under ATT STEM at Work Grant Polk Pre-collegiate Academy, photograph of two people holding a check for 2,000 dollarsATT STEM at Work Grant photograph with 3 women holding a check for 2,000 dollars

Polk Pre-collegiate Academy’s project, Robotic Prosthetics, has students design, manufactures, and manipulate a prosthetic joint with robotic controls. Students will work with Hangar, Inc.  to learn about prosthetic design and manufacturing. Students will use their 3-D design skills and their robotic engineering experience to design and build a powered robotic joint or prosthesis.  The final projects will be evaluated by prosthetic engineers.

Bok Academy North’s project, Sciencetastic Knights, is designed to bring the STEM/STEAM community to students who are underrepresented and at risk.  STEM volunteers will come into the classroom both during the school day as well as during the afterschool engineering club to facilitate lessons. Hand –on lessons are designed that students would develop critical thinking and problem solving skills.  The idea is to help the students experience success where they are and help them develop the skills necessary for STEM success. The hands on learning that this project will provide will help them with that.

2019-2020 ATT Press Release

ATT Grant Guidelines

ATT logo

Motorola STEM Solutions Grant

With STEM/STEAM (Science-Technology – Engineering- Arts – Math) as a current focus in education, Motorola Solutions Foundation through the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations (CFEF) funded $5,000 for STEM focused business partnership in 2012-2013, 2013-2014, 2014-2015, 2017-2018, and again in 2018-2019.

STEM Solutions Grant Guidelines

George Bartuska at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy is the 2018-2019 grant recipient.

In​ ​response to local STEM needs and opportunities, a​ ​project-based​ ​learning​ ​environment​ ​”High Altitude Ballooning with Global Positioning Satellites”​ was  created for students.  In this unit students  ​are exposed to careers that are in high demand and are involved in high interest Atmospheric Research and Space related topics. Students will construct a thermally insulated spacecraft with the objective of protecting the instrumentation camera, electronics, and battery from the extreme cold temperatures that will be encountered during the flight.  Also, students will conduct a complete check-out of the equipment to assure all the electronics are functioning properly, and that the Global Positioning Satellite System is fully operational before launch.  A chase team will be established to track and recover the spacecraft as it parachutes back to Earth after the balloon bursts at altitude.  This​ ​project will use​ ​the​ ​S.T.E.M.​ ​platform​ ​and​ ​process for​ ​understanding​ ​the​ ​S.T.E.M.​ ​workforce​ ​in​ ​the​ ​community.​ Congratulations!

2018 Motorola STEM Solutions Grant recipient receives check for $5000(2018-19 Grant Recipients)

2018-2019 Motorola Press Release

Motorola logo

Suncoast Credit Union Grant

Suncoast Credit Union grants are available to Polk County Public and Charter Schools.  Suncoast Credit Union is proud to invest in education in Polk County. In 2019-2020 The Suncoast grant awarded two $5,000 grants.

Eagle Lake Elementary received funds to boost literacy at the school by purchasing a book vending machine. Increasing reading comprehension and engagement can have a significant impact on a child’s future. Books in the home are strongly linked to academic achievement. Providing the opportunity for a child to own a book and take it home is central to improved reading outcomes at our school. Most children from disadvantaged backgrounds do not have books at home. Research shows that children who say they have a book of their own at home are 15 times more likely to read above grade level, while children who do not own a book are four times more likely to read below grade level (National Literacy Trust, 2017).  The idea of the vending machine is to get the children excited about owning their own book and to encourage reading in and out of school.  This project positions reading AS the reward, rather than a means to a reward.

Suncoast Credit Union Grant photograph including 2 women holding a check for 5,000 dollars

Jean O’dell Learning Center serves children with special needs.  They had a need for an updated Sensory Room. Grant funds have helped the school designate a room for sensory needs. Sensory needs are found in everyone. Sensory covers areas such as the “typical” needs such as sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing.  Studnets also have two additional sensory needs that most people do not think about; proprioception and vestibular.  These sensory needs are what we get from running, jumping, climbing and general movement. The proprioceptive needs and vestibular needs are be addressed though the use of a swing and therapy balls or ramps and scooters.  Other sensory needs such as touch are developed through the use of a sensory table with sand and water.  Visual and auditoy stimulation such as LED lighted poles, aquariums or fiberoptics and calming music with switch activation are also included in this sensory room.

Suncoast Credit Union Grant photograph including 4 women with a check for 5,000 dollars


NR March Environmental Research Grant

Lake Gibson High School is the recipient of the 2019-2020 NR March Environmental Grant to study citrus greening on their campus. The project will harness student’s curiosity in a coordinated attempt to aid the state’s citrus industry while educating students on practical experimentation as well as the research and development process. Students will collect samples and learn to run PCR, allowing them to experience field research in an educational setting. Students will also learn proper/legal log keeping and practice recording and analyzing data.  Because the study will be publicized, students will have more professional opportunity for lab work post-graduation after involvement. What a great experience!

Thank you GiveWell Community Foundation!


This logo was made possible by a capacity building grant sponsored by the GiveWell Community Foundation.